Vermont state housing Authority

Landlord Information

Landlord Process

Step 1 

Landlords should upload their completed W9 and Direct Deposit Form using the secure link below.

Landlords must upload their current, complete and signed W9 and Direct Deposit forms using the secure links below, to register and have their account created in the VERAP system. Please allow up to 48 hours before registering in the Owner Portal using the information provided on the W9.

Step 2

After registering and logging to the Owner Portal, complete the following:

  • Unit Certification Questions and Attestations
  • Upload required documents such as a copy of the lease, rent ledger, and proof of ownership.
  • eSign

What Can I Do To Help My Tenants Apply?

Make sure your tenants know the legal name of your company and have a copy of their lease or other documentation that displays the following:

  • Unit address
  • Amount of monthly rent
  • Amount in arrears since April 1, 2020 that was not paid under the Rental Housing Stabilization Program (RHSP).
  • Amount of arrears requested to be paid under VERAP.

Once a Landlord has created an Owner Record and an Applicant has applied and been found eligible, then the Landlord will be able to complete their portion of the application for that Applicant.

  • Amounts requested for back rent and future rent payments must be agreed to by the Applicant and the Landlord. 
  • Payments will be made by ACH deposit only on a weekly basis.
  • Landlords can expect to receive payment within 1-2 weeks. Payments occur weekly on Wednesdays. The timing of when payment is made will depend on when an application is approved within the pay cycle.
  • Click here to view an instructional walk-through of the Landlord/Owner Portal.
  • Click here to view the 2022 VERAP Payment Calendar

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To be eligible, a household must be obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling in the State of Vermont and meet the criteria below:

  • One or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • One or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
  • The household has a household income at or below 80% of Area Median Income. (See VT Income Limits 2021)

 

Eligible housing types include:

  • Households occupying a federally subsidized residential or mixed-used property, as long as VERAP funds are not applied to costs that have been or will be reimbursed under any other federal assistance.
  • Households receiving a monthly federal subsidy where the tenant portion of the rent has been adjusted according to changes in income. The household may receive VERAP assistance for the tenant-owed (non-subsidized) portion of rent.
  • People exiting homelessness, provided only that the household has a lease or can demonstrate they have a rental obligation.
  • People leasing up in new location, provided only that the household has a lease or can demonstrate they have a rental obligation.
  • Households with an obligation to pay mobile home lot rent and/or mobile home rent.
  • People renting in recovery residence/sober homes as well as renting temporary housing if they relapse and cannot stay in residence, provided only that the household has a lease or can demonstrate an obligation to pay rent.
  • Tenants residing in motels for more than 30 days.
  • Long-term care facilities (rent portion only).

Renters or “Applicant(s)” must first apply and be determined income eligible and program eligible. Once the application is complete and eligibility is determined, the Applicant and Owner will be notified.

Yes, people living in a roommate arrangement can apply for Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance. If all roommates are listed on the same lease, roommates should apply together as a household and can identify 1 member as the head of household to submit and maintain their application. If each roommate has a separate lease, for their share of the rent only, each roommate can apply individually.

The first step is to create an Owner Record account. Landlords who have not yet created an Owner Record may do so at any time. To create an Owner Record, please visit Vermont State Housing Authority | Emergency Rental Assistance Program (vsha.org)  If you are having difficulties, please contact the Call Center at 833-488-3727 (883-4VT-ERAP). You will need to provide: You will need to provide:

  1. The last 4 digits of your tax ID#
  2. Your name as it appears on your W-9
  3. Your address
  4. Your email address
  • Current lease signed by the applicant and landlord or sublessor that identifies the unit where the applicant resides and establishes the rental payment amount.
  • If a lease is not available, other documentation demonstrating obligation to pay rent must be provided:
    • Evidence of amount of rental payment may include bank statements, check stubs, or other documentation that reasonably establishes a pattern of paying rent.
    • Attestation by the landlord who can be identified as the verified owner or management agent of the unit.
    • If an applicant can provide satisfactory evidence of residence but is unable to present adequate documentation of amount of rent, applicant can provide written attestation to support the payment of assistance up to a monthly maximum of 100% of the county FMR.
      • Attestation will be provided in the online application attesting that the information is true and accurate with an eSignature at the end of the application process.
      • must include that household has not received and does not anticipate public or private subsidy and is not a current recipient of Reach-up, Reach First, Reach Ahead, Reach Post-Secondary Education Program, and Child-Only households with at least one parent in receipt of SSI.

Payments to Tenants will only be made if the landlord chooses not to participate in the program demonstrated by:

  • If / when a landlord does not submit a landlord application, either online or in paper format AND
  • Grantee’s vendor has made 3 attempts by phone, text, or email over 5 business days and the landlord has not responded OR VERAP receives confirmation in writing from landlord that the landlord does not want to participate

After an application has been approved and the landlord has been setup for direct deposit, landlords can expect to receive payment within 1-2 weeks. Payments occur weekly on Wednesdays. The timing of when payment is made will depend on when an application is approved within the pay cycle.

The following data elements will be collected with each landlord application.

  • Full Name
  • Company Name (if applicable)
  • Address, City, State, Zip
  • Tax id number
  • Completed W-9
  • Completed Direct Deposit Authorization
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Attestation (with eSignature at end of application) that:
    • The rental unit complies with Vermont’s Life Safety Code requirements
    • Landlord will not increase the rent for the number of months receiving benefits. (SEE BELOW FOR EXCEPTIONS)
    • Landlord will make reasonable effort to engage in weatherization activities and programs.
    • Landlord agrees to notify VERAP and return grant funds if tenant moves from the unit before the end of the benefit period.
  • Mobile Home Parks – For mobile home park lot rents, the program restriction does NOT apply.
  •  

The program does not allow landlords to raise the contract rent while they are receiving rent money under this program, but there are a few exceptions:

  • The intent of the program restriction was to not have excessive rent increases due to the program payment of rent.
  • For all properties, if a landlord issued the tenant a notice of a rent increase prior to April 5, 2021 (program start date), the increase can be implemented as noticed.
  • If the landlord encounters a large unexpected operating expense, the landlord may be able to apply and receive approval for a rent increase through the program. *
  • In many cases the increase in contract rent is paid by an increase in federal subsidy, not the household. Some properties are required to follow federal regulations regarding changes to a tenant’s rent; this program does not supersede that federal requirement.

For USDA Rural Development Properties, HUD Section 8 (TRACS) Properties, and HUD Section 8 Project Based Housing Choice Voucher Properties, changes in tenant rent are based on federal requirements and are not impacted by this program.

  • HUD – Section 8 – Tenant Based Housing Choice Vouchers – if a landlord issued the tenant a notice of a rent increase prior to April 5, 2021 (program start date), the increase can be implemented as noticed. Landlord will need to supply copy of rent increase notice.
  • Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Properties – For LIHTC properties where there is no overlaying federal assistance (i.e. USDA or HUD), the program restriction does apply.

*Process for this unexpected expense.  If a landlord encounters an unexpected non-capital operating expense increase such as a property tax increase, a utility increase, or insurance increase, the landlord may receive approval from VERAP to increase the rent while receiving the grant.  Upon approval from the program, the Landlord would be required to send the Tenant a standard rent increase notice along with the program approval for the increase.

The Landlord, as a part of the request for rent increase approval, would need to submit proof of need of the increase.  For a property tax increase this would include submitting both the prior year and current (new) year tax bills.  The same type of documentation would be required for requests related to increased utility costs, insurance or any other type of unexpected non-capital operating expense.  The Landlord will need to provide an attestation to VERAP that without the rent increase approval, the Landlord will not be able to meet its operating expenses.

All rent increases must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation.

Landlords WILL be required to provide proof of ownership of the property in which their tenant lives, this documentation can be a copy of the deed, a current tax bill or a current hazard insurance bill. This is being requested to verify ownership and maintain program integrity.  

Landlords who need to raise the rent paid by their tenants due to an increase in operating expenses can request this in the Owner Portal on the Unit Certification screen. Supporting documentation (e.g. copies of last and current tax bills etc.) must be provided.

For USDA Rural Development PropertiesHUD Section 8 (TRACS) Properties, and HUD Section 8 Project Based Housing Choice Voucher Properties, changes in tenant rent are based on federal requirements and are not impacted by this program.

  • HUD – Section 8 – Tenant Based Housing Choice Vouchers – if a landlord issued the tenant a notice of a rent increase prior to April 5, 2021 (program start date), the increase can be implemented as noticed. Landlord will need to supply copy of rent increase notice.
  • Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Properties – For LIHTC properties where there is no overlaying federal assistance (i.e. USDA or HUD), the program restriction does apply.
  • Mobile Home Parks – A park owner may not increase lot rent without first providing at least 60 days’ written notice to each affected leaseholder and the Commissioner.
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The Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program (VERAP) is coming to an end.

 

Following are the changes that will be implemented to VERAP beginning December 1st, 2022 – These changes supersede prior policies.

 Appeals:

  1. If an applicant is determined to be ineligible for assistance, Team ReFrame will notify the applicant in writing with a detailed reason for the denial, including any facts relied on for the decision, and let the applicant know that if they wish to appeal the decision, the tenant must notify Team ReFrame by scheduling an appeal through the portal or calling the VERAP call center, of their intent to appeal the decision within 10 days from the date of the denial.
  2. If applicant misses deadline they cannot come back and update their applications and request an appeal.

  Recertification Policy for Lapse in benefit Period:

  1. Recertification paperwork resubmitted within three (3) months of the last approved recertification will require no additional documentation.
  2. Benefit requests through Recertifications will be limited to 3 months of rental arrears. If a participant recertifies more than 90 days from their last approved recertification, they will be required to provide documentation of the household’s income at the time they should have originally recertified, as well as their current income, in order to receive benefits. 
  3. For tenants who were paid directly per Section K of this document, documentation of arrears MUST accompany a recertification document if any time has lapsed since last day of the month in which VERAP rent assistance was received.

 

Following are the changes that will be implemented to VERAP beginning October 1, 2022. Clarification of these rules may continue please check our website on Fridays for the most up-to-date information.

Rental Assistance:

  1. VERAP will STOP taking new applications for Rent.
  2. Participants who receive rental subsidy (such as Section 8) will no longer be eligible for rental assistance.
  3. Existing VERAP participants (those applying to VERAP prior to 10/1/22) will receive reduced rental and utility assistance dependent on income, according to the following schedule.
    • Participants with incomes between 31-80% of Area Median Income:
      • October 1, 2022, assistance will be reduced to 70%
      • November 1, 2022, assistance will be reduced to 50%
      • Rental Assistance will end November 30, 2022 
    • Participants with incomes at or below 30% of Area Median Income and below:
      • October 1, 2022, assistance will be reduced to 70%
      • Assistance will be provided until funding is gone.

Substantive Income Changes:

If an applicant’s reported income changes and the change results in the applicant being categorized in a new area median income (AMI) category, documentation of the reason for change and/or documentation of new income will be required

4. All HOTEL Nights will be capped at a rate of $130 per night

Other Expenses Related to Housing:

Application for Other Expenses Related to Housing are impacted as follows:

  1. VERAP will stop taking new applications for Other Expenses Related to Housing Habitability Repairs on 09/23/2022

  2. All Health and Safety Repairs must be completed, and all documentation uploaded by 11/30/2022

    • Arrears, Filing Fees, Sherriff Fees, and Plaintiff Legal Fees are eligible at 100% benefit
    • Stipulations received after 9/30/22 cannot include forward rent
    • Stipulations received after 9/23/22 cannot include damages
    • Stipulations are available to all VERAP approved participants, including tenants with a rental subsidy

      Stipulation Payments – New applications will not be accepted after 11/30/2022

  3. Rent into Court Applications will no longer be accepted after 11/30/2022

  4.   Money To Move applications will be accepted until 11/30/2022

    • All applicants with a subsidy are eligible for this benefit until 11/30/22.
    • All money to move requests will be paid at 100% and need to be requested within thirty days of move in date. 

Reach-Up Rental Assistance:

  1. Reach Up’s Rental Assistance is expected to continue until June 2023 — unless the funds run out before then.
  2. Approved Applicants are only eligible for a maximum of 18 months of rental payments. Some families may receive fewer than 18 months due to the program ending in June 2023.
  3. The program will keep:
    • Accepting new applications and making payments through June 30, 2023.
    • Paying the tenant’s portion of rent even if the tenant lives in subsidized housing.
    • Paying what the tenant owes.
  4. Utilities for Reach-Up Emergency Rental Assistance (RUERA) approved rental applicants will be paid at 100% until December 31, 2022 (or longer depending on the availability of funding)

Utilities (VERAP-U and REAP):

  1. Utility applications for VERAP and REAP will be accepted through December 31, 2022.
  2. For benefit month October 1, 2022, and thereafter, assistance will be reduced to 70%.
  3. Applications submitted after 9/30/2022 will receive assistance at 70% for all benefit months including arrearages.
  4. All utility payments will end December 31, 2022.

Other Helpful Resources:

Vermont 211 Homepage — VT 211

Public Benefit Programs – Including General Assistance Emergency Housing, 3SquaresVT, Fuel Assistance, Water Assistance and more:

https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits

  1. ONLINE: Use the online application.
  2. BY MAIL: Call 1-800-479-6151 or visit a district office to get a paper application.
  3. IN PERSON: Apply in person at your local district office.

We have worked to create a summary of resources that may assist you during this time of transition.  Here is a list that you may find helpful. 

Housing Resources Guide | Vermont Income Limits.

If you have other needs, you may also reach out to 211 for resources that may not be listed here.